Sign in to follow this  
NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM's Xenophobic Paranoia Couldn't Save Pontiac

12 posts in this topic

GM's Xenophobic Paranoia Couldn't Save Pontiac

Pontiac produced this xenophobic video 40 years ago to scare the crap out of its assembly line workers and encourage them to "show up to work each day" to build quality automobiles. It didn't work.

"Today, the national figure is 170 out of each 1,000 cars. And we sure do worry about it." That's the lead line of this xenophobic video designed to motivate Pontiac assembly line workers to do their best to boost quality of the Pontiacs they produce — and blunt the German and Japanese invaders looking to sell higher quality cars stateside.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg3PzgK-usk&feature=player_embedded#!

An ominous voice-over intones of the Volkswagen, Toyota and Datsun cars that are coming to our shores from far-away lands and stealing away Pontiac's customers. It's enough to give anyone the willies and make them angry with the foreigners for stealing our hard-earned American jobs. The video does make clear, however, that "they are not the enemy! They are the competition."

We all know who the enemy is. It's the unions! So, despite the "we're all in this together" mentality - on the surface - the video is rife with "us vs. them," with Pontiac subversively trying to undermine the union.

That said, if we all work together (and actually show up for work), we can beat these invaders and keep building the best cars in the country. "We can compete! If we can count on you, we won't have to count foreign cars. That's how important you are. Americans love Pontiacs. They know American cars have the room and safety and convenience that is needed on the American road."

Sadly, although they had the room, the safety and the convenience needed on the American road, they didn't have the fuel economy or the styling. And now, despite the video's "we haven't lost yet!" motto, Pontiac's dead. Did the American work ethic die with it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byzzrW4X2Bo&feature=player_embedded

link:

http://jalopnik.com/5542887/gms-xenophobic-paranoia-couldnt-save-pontiac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sadly, although they had the room, the safety and the convenience needed on the American road, they didn't have the fuel economy or the styling.

Now, you guys know that I'm not that big a cheerleader for 70s Pontiac styling, but sorry, 70s Toyotas, Datsuns, and VWs didn't have any styling advantage over a 70's Pontiac.... or even an '80s Pontiac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely true WRT the styling issue. That CERTAINLY was no factor.

I absolutely HATE these pieces that attempt to draw lo-oooong, stretched-thin links between 2 unrelated factors, tring in vain to 'prove' a direct, decades-long cause & effect. It's bullsh!t.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely true WRT the styling issue. That CERTAINLY was no factor.

I absolutely HATE these pieces that attempt to draw lo-oooong, stretched-thin links between 2 unrelated factors, tring in vain to 'prove' a direct, decades-long cause & effect. It's bullsh!t.

I wouldn't blame the '70s cars for Pontiac's demise, or GM's downfall..what hurt GM more than anything was the look-alike incredibly mediocre FWD generics they churned out from '80 onward for a couple decades...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad thing is they showed this to the line workers?

They should have showed this to the Board every week to remind them to enable their designers to build the cars they could not the car that the Board what people were really buying and why.

GM could have competed and beat all of these if they enabled their people to do what they could have done vs just forcing what the Board and leadershp of GM tried to cram down their and the publics throats.

They should have also made the UAW managment watch this too to remind them they were not just competing with Ford and Chrysler anymore.

By the way if you watch Oldsmoboi's little video with the naration of this GM video it make it really interesting......

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see it as overly xenophobic (there's a few parts but not overly). The narrator states they are the competition, not the enemy. Then goes on to say that everyone should work to building the best cars they can, so hopefully what happened to other industries (which resulted in lots of unemployment) happens to the last industry. Problem was that this video never made it to management and the bean counters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite honestly the most depressing thing I have ever watched. Bambi, while made with pride, doesn't even compete.

Seriously, it's better to have 3 out of every 10 sweaters U.S. made than -- what is it today? I would have to put the number at .5 ... that's a fucking decimal for God's sake. What's the excuse?

Edited by whiteknight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite honestly the most depressing thing I have ever watched. Bambi, while made with pride, doesn't even compete.

Seriously, it's better to have 3 out of every 10 sweaters U.S. made than -- what is it today? I would have to put the number at .5 ... that's a fucking decimal for God's sake. What's the excuse?

Money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this